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Haitian Epis: a simple Fresh Herbs and Spices Seasoning

Fresh Herbs and Spices Seasoning (Haitian Epis)

Fresh Herbs and Spices Seasoning also called Epis is Haitian cuisine is the foundation of delicious meals. This blend of herbs and spices is used to enhance the flavors of dishes.

Fresh herbs and spices seasoning are very common in the Caribbean. Depending on the region, or island, the ingredients will vary. The flavors are somewhat similar as well as the dishes. But the exotic taste that we love so much is about the same everywhere.

Any Caribbean cuisine, Basic Herbs, and Spices Blend start with garlic, parsley, and thyme. Other ingredients such as scallion, chive, onion, green pepper, celery, cloves, vinegar, lemon or lime juice, black pepper, and hot pepper are added for flavor enhancement. A good Caribbean Herbs and Spices Blend is the foundation of any great meal. A jar or container of epis is essential in a Haitian home.

There are many recipes and variations of Fresh Herbs and Spices Seasoning or Haitian Epis

Many people add oil to their blends because that’s how they were taught. Oil is not needed for the seasoning blend to last longer. It adds more fat than anything else. The oil sometimes will thicken the blend depending on the temperature of your refrigerator and may affect the taste of your dish. An acidic agent such as fresh lemon or lime juice and good refrigeration is necessary.

Salt, a common ingredient is often substituted by “Maggie Cube” or chicken bouillon cube or powder. Nowadays many Caribbean people including myself are opting not to add salt for many health reasons.

Consider making your blend as simple as possible so you can use it any way you want. For example, if your blend does not contain any salt and you want to add Worcestershire sauce, that is not a problem. You can easily adjust the taste. If you feel adventurous and want to add another store-bought marinade blend, there’s no worry about your food being salty.

Herbs and spices blend

How to use fresh herbs and spices seasoning or Haitian Epis

Mixed Fresh Herbs and Spices or Epis can be used to season meat, seafood, rice, beans, soup, etc. You can use the blend any way you want. A person or cook who enjoys cooking different types of dishes will have not only a fresh seasoning blend but also a variety of dried spices. This is primarily for adding more flavors to dishes and having the ability to create recipes from around the world.

For meat, seafood, and poultry, fresh seasoning adds a lot of texture and aroma. For example, fresh fish will taste better with fresh spices. At the same time, fresh red meat or poultry needs a little bit of help. The help comes from the marination time, usually 15 minutes and up to 12 hours. Marination allows the seasoning to penetrate the flesh. Unless you are in a hurry then you use a slow cooking method to cook the meat or poultry.

Why should you make a fresh seasoning blend or Epis

There are many reasons why you would create a fresh seasoning blend. One that is very common these days is allergies. With allergies on the rise, many people are opting to use fresh ingredients. The combination of the fresh spices brings such wonderfully delicious flavors to a dish that once they try it, the results are noticeable immediately.

All seasoning and spice blends or Epis do not taste the same. Dried seasoning blends will sometimes have a pungent taste depending on the manufacturer and how the herbs are harvested. Have you ever noticed the difference between dried parsley and fresh parsley? The aroma is very different.

Grilled Steak with Herbs made with fresh parsley will taste better than a steak cooked with dried parsley. Another example is Zesty Shallots and Parsley Sauce, which cannot be made with dried herbs. The parsley has to be fresh.

What are the different types of fresh herbs and spices used in a Seasoning Blend or Epis

The most common ingredients are:

  • Parsley
  • Garlic Cloves
  • Thyme
Fresh herbs and spices
Photo Credit: Canva.

What other ingredients can be used in Epis?

Other ingredients are used for flavor, and they can be dried spices or vegetables. They are:

  • Green Bell Pepper
  • Leek
  • Onion
  • Whole Peppercorn or Black Pepper
  • Whole Cloves

Why do I use fresh herbs and spices seasoning or my Haitian Epis when cooking

The answer to why I use fresh herbs and spices seasoning is simple. I am from the Caribbean! Fresh herbs and spices were in abundance around me, and there are still plenty as of today. They are for medicinal purposes and cooking. One of the main reasons I prefer using mixed fresh herbs and spices when cooking is because they contain lots of nutritional benefits.

I use epis in almost every dish I cook as long as I have a jar in my refrigerator. Dried seasoning blends are always available in my pantry and are used very often. Dried herbs and spices have great health benefits and are rich and concentrated in flavor. Food will always taste better with a fresh or dried seasoning blend.

Don’t shy away from herbs and spices. You will be surprised at how much better your food will taste. Having a jar of mixed fresh herbs and spices or Haitian Epis in your refrigerator saves time and complements every meal every time.

Here is a recipe to get you started:

Fresh Herbs and Spices Seasoning (Haitian Epis)

Mixed Fresh Herbs and Spices

Mixed Fresh Herbs and Spices can be used when preparing meat, seafood, rice, beans, soup etc…
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Course Condiment
Cuisine Caribbean
Calories 302 kcal


  • 1 cup Fresh Lime Juice
  • 4 Stalks Scallions chopped
  • 1 cup Green Pepper chopped
  • 1 cup Onion chopped
  • 1 packet Fresh Thyme large and thick stems removed
  • 24 Garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp Ground Black Pepper or Mixed Peppercorn (regular black pepper can be used also)
  • 3 tbsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 tbsp Ground Cloves
  • 1 hot pepper (Habanero or Scotch Bonnet) optional


  • Clean all fresh spices and set aside to dry. Peel off skin on all garlic cloves and set aside. Grind cloves and peppercorn if necessary and set aside. Add all ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.
  • Add mixture to a mason jar (32-oz +) and keep refrigerated. The mixture should last 2 – 3 weeks with moderate cooking. Only use a clean spoon when removing the spices mixture from the jar to avoid spoilage.


  • This recipe is for a 32-ounce mason jar. You will have some leftover mixture that can fill up an 8-ounce jar. This may also happen if you add more lemon juice and want the Epis to be more liquid. 
  • All fresh ingredients mentioned in the recipe, such as scallions, garlic, etc, are not always the same size. Therefore the mixture amount will differ. 
  • You may want to liquify your epis mixture. 
Herbs and Spices Blend - caribbeangreenliving.com
Herbs and Spices Blend


Calories: 302kcalCarbohydrates: 76gProtein: 10gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 20979mgPotassium: 1273mgFiber: 12gSugar: 16gVitamin A: 912IUVitamin C: 233mgCalcium: 311mgIron: 4mg

Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on the products used.

Keyword epis, herbs, herbs blend, noubess seasoning, Noubess Spices, spice blend
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Nutrition info is automatically generated and provided as a courtesy and as an estimate only.

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Corn Allergy:

Always choose ingredients without corn or corn derivatives.

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  1. Are you sure of the 1 tablespoon of ground clove? This seems like the clove would overpower everything in the recipe.

    1. The amount of ground clove will not empower the taste because of the amount of garlic, scallion and thyme and lemon juice. These ingredients are very strong in terms of taste and aroma. You can reduce the 1 tablespoon of ground clove to 1 teaspoon. Also, cloves is essential to Haitian cooking and have many great health benefits. Thanks for your comment.

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